Whilst start-ups can all differ, the challenges they face are often the same, particularly in the fast-growth tech space. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just ‘failure avoidance’ which needs to be top of the agenda: The SBA states that it’s actually only 30% of new businesses which fail during the first two years of operation. For high growth start-ups, 2019 is all about laying the groundwork, rather than making historic breakthroughs as such. But, nevertheless it should be a busy and exciting year for entrepreneurs to grow a scalable business model. Is there a trend or model amongst start-ups to quickly reach the top of their sector? Is there anything in particular that would encourage a company to excel in sales at a rapid pace? We discuss five common trends to give you insight to transform your business.
Have a Plan
And stick to it. Fast-growth tech companies like SnapChat and Uber entered the market with a clear brand proposition (and stuck to their disruptive ethos) and are now leaders in their sectors.
You need to set smart, achievable KPI’s (key performance indicators) for your business and plan how they will drive continued growth throughout the next quarter and year. These should include measurable results, referenced against your plan for marketing. Assess any risks that may be caused by these, and iron out any issues that will cause obstacles along the way.
Many start-ups try to balance the world of multi-channel marketing, however this isn’t always the best practice to drive fast-growth. It would be much more beneficial for a business to take things slowly and focus on one specific channel that will generate leads and get most of their scale from.
While it is good to consider omni-channel marketing, it is better to clear your schedule and put your efforts into one lead acquisition channel, saving your time and budget to really focus on what matters most for your brand.
More often than not, rapid growth can leave strain on certain, but not all, team members. An example of this would mean your sales team could suddenly have to slow their work pace down as targets soar, but leave the account managers with more workload than they can handle. Similarly, a spike in online traffic could put strain on your technical department, yet leave human resources unaffected by the matter.
One of the most common ways to handle resources in start-ups is through cross-department training. If your sales or human resources teams could contribute where necessary with operational or ad-hoc duties, this frees up other departments, giving some much needed breathing space before going on to hire more workers (and, utlimately, increase operating costs).
Preparing for business growth should include a well thought-out strategy to help your team members to gain better insight into all areas of business that you wish to cover in the next quarter of the working year. Traits to cover in this strategy should include management of customers/clients, and how to support outbound targets, all of which employees would need to learn when taking up larger roles in your organisation when or if needed.
It is much more beneficial for the management team or board of directors to move a current employee up the business hierarchy, and then hire someone else to take their previous duties.
Marketing 101 – Everything you do is essentially for your customers. When a business is going through fast growth, or any form of transformation that your customers may not be used to, the business needs to ensure that all departments work from a customer-centric standpoint, rather than a perspective to profit from the most valuable customers.
Take Yoyo Wallet for example, currently labelled as the fastest growing mobile wallet in Europe, having created a technology platform that manifests as two different products, one for the retailer and one for the consumer. CEO, Michael Rolph spoke about the challenges that come with turning an idea into a viable business, which included wanting to add deep value for the retailer; and, whilst investment was a big part of their process to becoming such a fast-growth company, he warned that for a start-up that is disrupting the market, there will be no one investor that fits perfectly, so businesses have to make sure they have a convincing story to tell.
Being customer-centric means putting your marketing efforts on the real world, high-value customer engagement in order to drive profit for your business. Our Creative Director, Philip Hansen, says that “brand and design should come from a body in the leadership team, to really push and drive to what consumers want, whilst working with the management team on other aspects, too.”
Invest in Solutions
Fast growth is great for any business, but can create issues if you are not prepared. It is important to be prepared for growth and to invest in scalable solutions. For example, when undertaking campaigns which will drive interest in the business, ensuring the bandwidth on your website is capable of accommodating a spike in traffic is hugely important; as is ensuring you maintain the on-site experience for your customers positive.
In this example, cloud-based solutions are often better than physical servers as you can increase bandwidth with a click of a button (something our client, OpenCredo, are very familiar with – read more here)
Whilst we’ve offered an initial five very top-line tips for fast-growth businesses, the world of start-ups is filled with versatile and dynamic problems and challenges which will need exploring on a case-by-case basis. Employing these 5 thinking points will help start-ups be prepared to deal with these challenges, but often exploration of these unravels a much more strategic conversation and can take the business on a whole new journey. Find out how we can steer business thinking and partner with clients to take their business to the next level here.
Wonderful are always looking to partner with fast growth start-ups. If you’re looking for an agency, get in touch!
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